In a world of busyness, stress, and disconnection from those around you is the small town of Fairbury.  A mere forty miles from the sprawling metropolis of Rockland, this small hamlet is both a bedroom community and tourist town adjacent to Lake Danube.

Walk down the tree canopied streets and catch a glimpse of yesteryear hemmed in today.   On Main Street, wander down the sidewalks and peer into awning covered shop windows.  The Confectionary serves the most delicious hand cranked ice cream, cheesecake, and gourmet chocolates.  In Bookends, you’ll find a wide variety of fiction, reference, and how-to books.  In one corner of the shop, a couple of loveseats sit near a window and overlook the town.  Residents often sit there and discuss the latest bestseller by their famous local author.

If you continue to walk around the town square, you’ll pass the Pettler.  If Wayne is outside, he’ll probably offer you a daisy.  He gives away thousands every year.  Would you like one?  He love’s me…

Two doors over, is Prissy’s Hardware.  Inside you’ll find fine jewelry rather than hammers, saws, and paint.  Jill MacIntyre next door runs Fairbury Market.  As co-owner and general manager, she’s turned a bad eighties remodel into a fresh modern renovation that fits the vintage charm of the town.

See that boy walking by eying the carts of fruit and candy?  He won’t even think about snatching it while the clerk helps that customer.  Look over there, catty-cornered on the square?  Yep.  Officers still walk a beat between six a.m. and nine p.m..  The Chief of Police, Frank Varney, transferred from the city streets of nearby Rockland.  He knew what a difference the constant presence of police in an area could make on the security of the residents and the crime rate.  He determined to ensure that the “Mayberry” air of Fairbury stayed that way.

So far, it’s been extremely successful.  Fairbury’s crime rate is almost non-existent.  Yes, there are occasional shoplifters or a domestic dispute.  Most crime is tourist oriented.  Well, except that nasty string of serial killings.  Now that’s a story for Alexa to tell.

Around the corner of the square, is First church of Fairbury.  It’s a small non-denominational church that is a close knit family.  St. Michael’s, the local Catholic church, is darling little chapel with stained glass windows that are a state landmark.  The locals seem evenly split between faithful attendees of one or the other of the local congregations or worshipers of the lovely landscape around them.

Would you like to meet some of the residents?  See that woman wearing a long dress, shawl, and bonnet walking this way?  That’s Alexa Hartfield, local celebrity.  Yesterday she wore a forties style pantsuit.  Tomorrow it might be a medieval dress or a tea gown from the turn of the twentieth century.   Last fall, I saw her in low-slung jeans, a long sweater, and a houndstooth newsboy cap.  Alexa is a little eclectic in her wardrobe and eccentric in her lifestyle.  Rumor has it, she hand writes her murder mystery thrillers.  Can you imagine!

Oh look, Tait is coming.  He’s such a nice young man  It’s sad to see him so confused and misunderstood.  He’s a gentleman and a modern day knight rather than the reprobate some would have you believe.  He’s accused of not “avoiding the appearance of evil” but his response is, “so is the true sin to avoid the appearance of one evil or to commit a very real evil of another kind?”

Here comes Joe again.  You could set your watch by him if he didn’t stop to speak to every Tom, Dick, and Janie.  His job as police officer gives him a perfect chance to live his dream.  He has a heart for teens and preteens.  Growing up in a suburb of Chicago, he learned at a young age just how early kids are drawn into bad choices.  Make sure you’re around if there’s going to be dancing.  Watching Joe is a treat if swing starts playing.

See that woman there?  The thin ash blonde?  That’s Bentley.  She’s a local marvel.  The town is still talking about her proposal.  Yep, she proposed to a guy not too long ago and for the most bizarre reason.  I’d tell you more, but I’ve never been one for gossip or anything.

Uh oh!  Looks like Chad is taking over Joe’s beat.  Chad’s the newest officer on the local force.  Right out of the Academy, he signed on several months ago and integrated himself well into the town.  He loves the surrounding countryside, the lake, the streams…  He plans to transfer to Rockland after five years.   He has just under four years to go.  Generally, he hides his rookie status well but recently someone came into the station to report a death and what they learned and found will astound you!